[WATCH] PD asks Public Accounts Committee to refer elderly home direct order to Auditor General

The Democratic Party said St Vincent de Paul PPP was a contract which “is not normal in European democracy"

The Democratic Party said the St Vincent de Paul PPP was a contract which “is not normal in European democracy
The Democratic Party said the St Vincent de Paul PPP was a contract which “is not normal in European democracy"

The Democratic Party has written to the Public Accounts Committee, asking it to urgently discuss the case of the St Vincent de Paul public-private partnership direct order and to refer it to the Auditor General for investigation.

The party’s reaction comes in the context of a PPP for a kitchen facility and daily meals for the home for the elderly, which was said to have ballooned into a €274 million ‘direct order’ for a 500-bed extension to the elderly home.

MaltaToday reported Sunday, however, that it turns out the PPP document did contain a specific reference for a long-term care facility – although it is unclear why this most expensive part of the tender did not even earn itself a place in the title of the tender document.

Read more:

Elderly home PPP is a direct order, but its label could have been misleading

The PD said the direct order by which the contract was given showed the government was putting friends of friends before the elderly.

“The government is using public assets to favour private interests, and putting pro-business interests before all consideration for our elderly,” PD said.

It asked what the reason was for the contract to have been given behind Finance Minister Edward Scicluna’s back. “Since then, the Prime Minister has reduced the portfolio of the Finance Minister. Why? Is it possible he is more knowledgeable than Scicluna?”

The party said the contract was “not normal in a European democracy”, since it asked for a “non specified ‘gift’”.

The Nationalist Party Opposition, it said, remained silent, despite that fact that its leader Adrian Delia had met with contractors who were awarded the contract.

The PPP – legally a direct order despite a contest between tenderers – is the subject of controversy after two catering giants vied for what was originally a €16 million call to provide daily meals to the residents of St Vincent de Paul home for the elderly.

The winning consortium, consisting of James Caterers and a DB Group company, was said to have clinched the tender by ‘gifting’ the government with the construction of a 500-bed extension to the government home.

More in National